Christian Aid

From Saint Martin's Church, Barton, Torquay
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The people of St. Martin's regard it as an integral part of their Christian faith and duty to be aware of the needs of others, especially those in poor, underdeveloped or disaster-struck countries which are unable to help themselves.

The charity "Christian Aid" specifically works in such countries, and looks to the Church in more affluent parts of the world for the support and fundraising they need.


Last November we were shocked and saddened by the loss of our former Christian Aid organiser Steven Turnbull in a swimming accident. Donations in his memory were invited, and the amount raised by this Appeal was an incredible £3,150.00

We also continued to do as many of our usual Fundraising activities as COVID restrictions permitted: Our Smartie Tube collections took place as usual during Lent, raising £250.00, and we received £1000.00 in donations for our (virtual) Lent Lunches. We welcomed Helen Chapman as our new Christian Aid Co-ordinator, who organised the activities allowed during Christian Aid Week, which took place on 10-16 May. Envelopes were delivered via the Parish Magazine and to houses in the parish, and a further £2350.00 was raised from those returned.

So a cheque for £6750.00 was sent off in June to Christian Aid, and with £1641 of this Gift Aided, the total donation from the Parish exceeded £7,000.00!

We also joined in Christian Aid’s ‘Wave of Hope’ message to the G7 Summit meeting in June. See more by following this link:

Wave Of Hope


Our 2020 Appeal had already commenced with the issue of Smartie Tubes and Lent Lunches when the Coronavirus crisis hit us and we were unable to do so much of what we normally do.

In 2019 we had achieved a record-breaking £4000.00, so our Christian Aid Co-ordinator, Steven Turnbull, was amazed when Father Gorran told him this year's figure in view of all the Covid-related limitations on our activities, and our inability to collect from the wider community. However this seemingly miraculous result has been achieved, both through those who continued to donate to activities in spite of them being cancelled, and those who heeded the appeal to give a little more this year if they possibly could.
Many thanks to all who contributed so generously.

In this photo you can see how Father Gorran managed to hand the cheque for £3,500.00 to Steven in as socially-distanced a manner as he was able to manage!

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The cheque has now been sent off to Christian Aid, which will go towards enabling them to continue their vital work of helping communities in the world's poorest countries.

We are now beginning to collect money for Christian Aid's next appeal, bearing out our motto:

Shortly before the lockdown in March we were able to hold three of our Lent Lunches, and here are some photos from these:

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In spite of the difficulties, we continued to receive donations from those who would have attended the cancelled Lent Lunches, or returned Smartie tubes, and for our 'Virtual' Jumble Sale'. We could not collect from the wider community this year, but our Church members received envelopes and a steady stream of these were returned to the Vicarage throughout the month of May.

Below we give details of our 2019 Appeal

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In 2019, St. Martin's annual appeal raised £4,000.00 for Christian Aid. This is in addition to two emergency appeals earlier in the year which had raised £300.00 for the Indonesian Tsunami Disaster Appeal and £500.00 for the Cyclone Idai Disaster Appeal.

Here you see Father Gorran, the Parish Priest, presenting the cheque to Mr. Steven Turnbull, who is the parish co-ordinator for the charity "Christian Aid".

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Prior to Easter, during the season of Lent, we hold the first of our annual efforts for Christian Aid, through a Friday lunch held at The Vicarage. This consists of a frugal but ample meal of soup, rolls, butter, cheese, fruit and tea-or-coffee. The menu is meant to remind us that what would be considered a small meal in this country, would be a feast for many of the people we are trying to help.

The lunch is provided free of charge by The Vicar, and those who attend it are invited to make a donation roughly equivalent to what they would have spent on their main meal that day. In 2019, the Lent Lunches raised £700.00 of our total money raised for Christian Aid.

Smartie Tube Collections - also during Lent

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During Lent, The Vicar gives away a (free!) tube of Smarties to every member of the Church.

People are asked to eat the Smarties, and then to bring the tube back filled with cash.

1p and 20p pieces fit the tubes well - £1.00 coins fit the tubes even better!

Best of all, some tubes are returned containing rolled-up notes or cheques.

In 2019, £510.19 of the total we raised for Christian Aid, came from the Smartie Tubes.

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The Jumble Sale, which we hold each year on the last Saturday in April, is the next of our annual events held in aid of Christian Aid.
The 2019 sale raised £430.00 for Christian Aid, which was comprised of £400.00 on the day, and £30.00 the following week, from selling on our remaindered stock.

Every May, in Christian Aid Week, groups of people from St. Martin's go from house to house in our parish, delivering Christian Aid envelopes through letter-boxes. A few days later, the same people return to collect the envelopes, hoping that they will have been filled with donations.

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Two intrepid collectors on the house-to-house collection in May.

The house-to-house collection in May 2019 brought in £1,505.66 of the total funds we raised.

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During the Sundays in May, St. Martin's raises additional funds for Christian Aid, by having a retiring collection after each of the Church services. During the Sundays of May 2019, these retiring collections brought in a further £700.00 towards the total sum we raised.

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The Vicar is shown here, receiving some of the Christian Aid envelopes.

A new activity for 2019 was our collections during Christian Aid week outside the Barton shops, which raised £154.15. More than this, it raised awareness of the Christian Aid Appeal, with great support and encouragement from the general public.